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XL and La Compagnie merge

French airlines XL Airways and La Compagnie have joined forces, creating the first French long-haul low-fare group servicing both business and economy class on the New York to Paris route.

The new XL Airways – La Compagnie Group consolidated revenue will be more than €400 million and the Group allows for operational cost controls. The capital of the two companies will benefit from the support of shareholders, of international and French family offices, all under DreamJet Participations, La Compagnie’s holding company. Additionally, the company will encompass more than 800 employees, including two tour operators, Héliades and Crystal.

La Compagnie’s founder and CEO, Frantz Yvelin, who spent three years envisioning and successfully launching the company, then forging the XL Airways relationship, has resigned from his duties in the group in order to pursue other projects. XL Airways CEO Laurent Magnin will step up to lead the operation of both airlines.

“Today marks a monumental step in an exciting new direction for our dynamic group,” said the board of directors. “DreamJet Participations’ shareholders reflect the interest of French entrepreneurship and the tourism industry, which are fundamental for the economy of our country. We stand firmly behind Laurent Magnin as he leads the important and thrilling development of this new group. We have the utmost respect and gratitude for Frantz Yvelin, the successful visionary and entrepreneur, for his remarkable management, continuous commitment and steadfast leadership.”

Frantz Yvelin, founder and CEO of La Compagnie and Dreamjet Participations, said: “I am very proud and grateful to have created and run La Compagnie and to have successfully contributed to this new group. It has been both an amazing challenge and a great honor. La Compagnie is now facing continuous growth trajectory, servicing an average annual load factor around 80 percent and offering a recognized high-quality of service appreciated by its passengers. I want to thank all of those who have been by my side over the past three years for their support and also thank all our passengers for their loyalty. Most importantly, I would like to thank my wonderful teams, on the ground and in the air, for their outstanding dedication and hard work. They did not know it was impossible, so they did it. They are La Compagnie now.”

Laurent Magnin, CEO of XL Group and new CEO of La Compagnie, said: “I believe wholeheartedly in the potential of the French airline industry, and it is a conviction I share with all of my collaborators. The XL Group path has been remarkable, especially in the U.S. where our development was spectacular without any shareholders support for several years. The involvement of our awe-inspiring employees together with a strong brand has led us to great successes, and this new shareholders model leverages our organization to enable us to achieve much more. It was inspiring to see how favorably the two airlines’ employees received the news and underscores the shared spirit and mission. Our companies will join forces under our French flag, in the premiere tourist destination in the world.”

Date: March 14, 2017

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